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Angela
11-12-19, 16:31
"Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World".

All the buzz about Tom Holland's book, which I first saw mentioned by Razib Khan, is correct.

Not only is it historically sound and logical, it is also very accessible and engagingly written; no need to have been force fed the writings of the early Church fathers. It's a real treat.

It can be purchased for very little used, which is what I did.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43885149-dominion


Even The Guardian, bastion of all things liberal, can't trash it.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/nov/21/dominion-making-western-mind-tom-holland-review

From one of the reviews:

"Over and over again he shows that ideas we consider to be "self-evident" (to use the words of the framers of the US Constitution) are actually nothing of the sort - they are deeply rooted in Christian theology. The idea of fundamental human rights based on the fact that we are all humans and therefore all equal - which we assume almost without thinking - are shown to be based on Christian ideals and utterly alien to pre-Christian cultures like the Persians, Greeks and Romans. Even concepts such as revolutions, reform, championing the poor, the weak and the sick or the coming dawn of a new perfected age are shown to have intrincisally Christian foundations. Paradoxically, Holland shows secularism, humanism and agnosticism also all have their deeper roots in purely Christian concepts.

That paradox will mean this book will be vigorously rejected by many - probably precisely the audience who most needs to grasp its thesis, given the appalling historical illiteracy of most of the vehement advocates of stridently anti-theistic atheism. That the religion that has dominated the western worlds will have a fundamental influence on our culture is a concept that should be so clearly evident that it barely needs saying. That Holland has had to say it tells us something about our culture's historical myopia. And that he has said it with such verve, eloquence, wit and insight is to our benefit and his credit. This is an excellent book."

Ygorcs
12-12-19, 02:47
Wow, from the reviews this book sounds like a most interesting and especially necessary one (at this age of ideological rants disguised as historical knowledge).

dominique_nuit
13-12-19, 08:08
In a similar vein, I would recommend Larry Siedentop, "Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism" ---> again, crediting Christianity with so much that is distinctive about the West

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0674979885/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

But for my money, I think Christopher Dawson is very hard to top on all such "meta" historical questions